By LINDSAY CAREY
This month, the Southington YMCA received two anonymous donations toward the “EXTEND THE LEGACY” capital campaign, which benefits a series of renovation and expansion projects at the facility.
The anonymous donor has given $250,000 toward the campaign and also pledged to match further donations coming in to the YMCA up to $200,000. This dollar for dollar matching donation is a challenge to the community to contribute to the YMCA.
“For us it’s incredibly generous and it also provides with the unique opportunity to raise more money,” said Executive Director of the Southington YMCA John Myers. “It’s something we really didn’t expect and it’s really going to help.”
The EXTEND THE LEGACY campaign has been going on for two years and the Southington YMCA has been making renovations in phases.
“We redid our whole parking lot and gave it a campus-like feel,” said Myers.
In addition to redoing the parking lot, the YMCA was also able to renovate the men’s and women’s locker rooms.
“Now we’re ready to move into the pool renovation project,” said Myers.
Meyers said the YMCA has already hired the construction manager for the project and they are planning to start demolition in January. Myers said they are hoping the project will be complete by August of 2015.
The current pool at the YMCA is 46 years old and although the pool’s size will not be increased, accessibility will be improved. There will be an elevator installed that will go down to the pool area, which will make the pool more handicapped accessible.
“We lose a lot of folks who have mobility issues and the elderly,” said Myers.
Bathrooms and showers also will be more readily available to those who use the pool with placement near the pool deck. The air flow and temperature in the pool area will also be improved because the air handling system will be replaced with a newer and more energy efficient system.
“It’s very tough with the old system to monitor the temperature and the climate inside, energy efficient,” said Myers.
In addition to making the overall area more aesthetically pleasing, the renovation includes adding two observation decks above the pool.
“People can look in to see the pool, this will be great for swim meets,” said Myers.
If all goes well with fund raising, when the pool is completed the leftover money from the EXTEND THE LEGACY campaign will go toward expanding the facility.
The last phase of the renovation project will be to build a new 10,000 square foot all-purpose gymnasium behind the facility.
This will not only add more space for youth and adult programs at the YMCA, but it will also allow the YMCA gymnastics program, which is currently offsite, to return to the campus.
Myers said over the last two years the EXTEND THE LEACY campaign has raised around $2.8 million including the 250,000 anonymous donations that just came in.
Once the YMCA succeeds in meeting the dollar for dollar matching donation for up to $200,000, the total donations received will be about $3.2 million.
Myers said the YMCA has received just over $30,000 towards the dollar for dollar matching challenge, which equates to $60,000, so far.
“We’re confident we’ll meet this challenge as we continue to meet with folks in the community,” said Myers.